- McKinley Park, Chicago
McKinley Park — Community area — Community Area 59 - McKinley Park Coordinates: Coordinates: Country United States State Illinois County Cook City Chicago Neighborhoods Area - Total 1.4 sq mi (3.63 km2) Population (2000) - Total 15,952 - Density 11,381.7/sq mi (4,394.5/km2) population up 20.04% from 1990 Demographics - White 28.9% - Black 0.49% - Hispanic 61.5% - Asian 7.70% - Other 1.55% Time zone CST (UTC-6) - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5) ZIP Codes parts of 60608 and 60609 Median income $36,010 Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services
McKinley Park, one of the 77 official community areas of Chicago, Illinois, is located on the city's southwest side.
McKinley Park has been a working-class area throughout its long history. This tradition began around 1836 when Irish workers on the Illinois & Michigan Canal took squatter's rights to small tracts of land. By the 1840s, a few farmers had purchased and drained land and sent the Irish squatters packing. One of the first attempts at town building, “Canalport,” died stillborn, but Brighton was platted in 1840 and incorporated in 1851.
The completion of the Illinois & Michigan Canal in 1848 and the coming of the Chicago & Alton Railroad in 1857 spurred further subdivision of the area. The rails amplified the transportation advantages of the area, and during the Civil War industries located along the waterways and the railroad. The Union Rolling Mill was founded in the early 1860s along the south fork of the Chicago River and produced 50 tons of rails per day. Eventually, the firm became part of U.S. Steel.
Many steelworkers lived in the triangle formed by Ashland and Archer Avenue and 35th Street in an area called Mt. Pleasant. The name was probably ironic because of the adjacent steel mills, and because much of the area was swampy and undrained. Standing water bred hordes of mosquitoes and spring flooding was so severe that many houses were built on stilts. Not surprisingly, a portion of McKinley Park was called “Ducktown.” Some landowners desperate to elevate their holdings invited scavengers to dump ashes and thereby fill low areas. Unfortunately the scavengers dumped not only ashes, but garbage as well. Thus the area was not only wet, but fetid. Even with these problems, McKinley Park was annexed to Chicago in 1863.
The fire of 1871 displaced numerous industrial operations and many relocated to this area. Within five years after the fire 11 factories opened—most in iron and steel—along with 27 brickyards. During this same period, meatpacking operations just to the south moved into high gear. The result was the creation of the solid working-class community that still exists today.
The packinghouses fouled the environment and dumped wastes directly into the south fork of the Chicago River. Here the stream was such a hellish mess of decomposing material that it became known as “Bubbly Creek” because of the bubbles that constantly roiled its surface. The situation finally became so horrendous that the stream's upper reaches were filled in to rectify the problem.
If industries created pollution, they also created many good industrial jobs and led to a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity. Irish, Germans, Swedes, English, and native-born Americans filled the industrial jobs of the 1870s. Even after 1900, when Poles and other Eastern Europeans came to the area, English prevailed as the street language, and the area was the most American of all settlements in the stockyard districts. Transportation had always been poor, but the 1880s and 1890s saw improvement and extension of the car lines on Archer Avenue and on 35th Street. As time passed, steel mills and brickyards closed and industries changed, replaced by new activities. The Central Manufacturing District was begun in 1905 on some 260 acres (1.1 km2) along the south fork. In the late 1990s it was still operating, Pepsi-Cola was opening a new bottling plant, and the Wrigley Company was still making chewing gum. Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times was building a mammoth publishing and distribution plant west of Ashland along the Chicago River.
The beginning of the twentieth century led, after years of complaints by residents, to the creation of a park, which was named for President McKinley after his assassination. The 69-acre (280,000 m2) park now boasts a swimming pool and ice-skating rink. It is the area's showplace and led to the naming of the entire community.
After years of declining populations, during the 1990s the population grew from 13,297 to 15,962, with Mexicans joining the ethnic mix. Well-kept two and four-flat buildings dominate the landscape, but new infill housing has begun to appear. Two stops on the Orange Line rapid transit have boosted property values and spurred development of a shopping mall on Archer and Ashland Avenue.
McKinley Park is served by three neighborhood newspapers the Bridgeport News, the Back of the Yards Journal and the Brighton Park/McKinley Park Life. The neighborhood newspapers are delivered weekly on Wednesdays to homes throughout the neighborhood.
City of Chicago Chicago metropolitan area · State of Illinois · United States of America Category · Portal Community areas in Chicago Far North side North side Northwest side Central, Near North, and Near South side West and Near West side Southwest side South side Far Southwest side Far Southeast side South Lawndale, Chicago Lower West Side, Chicago Bridgeport, Chicago McKinley Park, Chicago Brighton Park, Chicago New City, Chicago
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
McKinley Park (Chicago) — 41° 50′ N 87° 40′ W / 41.83, 87.67 McKinley Park est l un des 77 secteurs c … Wikipédia en Français
McKinley Park — may refer to a place in the United States: McKinley Park, Alaska, a census designated place McKinley Park, Chicago, Illinois, a neighborhood McKinley Park, Sacramento, California, a neighborhood park This disambiguation page lists articles… … Wikipedia
Brighton Park, Chicago — Brighton Park is a neighborhood located on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois. It is number 58 of the 77 community areas of Chicago.Brighton Park is bordered on the north by the former Illinois Michigan Canal and the current Chicago Sanitary … Wikipedia
Norwood Park, Chicago — For township, see Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois. Norwood Park Community area Community Area 10 Norwood Park … Wikipedia
Albany Park, Chicago — Albany Park Community area Community Area 14 Albany Park … Wikipedia
Irving Park, Chicago — For other uses, see Irving Park. Irving Park Community area Community Area 16 Irving Park … Wikipedia
North Park, Chicago — North Park Community area Community Area 13 North Park … Wikipedia
Morgan Park, Chicago — Morgan Park redirects here. For the neighborhood in Duluth, see Morgan Park, Duluth, Minnesota. Morgan Park Community area Community Area 75 Morgan Park … Wikipedia
Lincoln Park (Chicago) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park Lincoln Park avec le Downtown en arrière plan … Wikipédia en Français
Edison Park (Chicago) — 42° 01′ N 87° 49′ W / 42.01, 87.81 Edison Park est l un des 77 secteurs communautaires … Wikipédia en Français